XO Office – Reporting back for duty

Posted Nov. 6, 2021, 8:41 a.m. by Ensign Kastarak (Doctor) (Richard A)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander T’Aria (XO / Navigation Officer) in XO Office – Reporting back for duty

Posted by Lieutenant Commander T’Aria (XO / Navigation Officer) in XO Office – Reporting back for duty

Posted by Ensign Kastarak (Doctor) in XO Office – Reporting back for duty
Posted by… suppressed (3) by the Post Ghost! 👻
It has been quite a while since Kastarak last saw this ship. Immediately before the last mission began, just a few days after having been posted to the Chernov, Kastarak was called up to T’Aria to be informed he would be temporarily transferred to a different ship. She had not known much about it, only that the order had come from further above.

As such, Kastarak dutifully obeyed. It had been a fascinating time outside the ship. He was taken to a Vulcan passenger ferry, where a viral outbreak had taken place. The first responders had identified the virus as Andorian in origin – which was odd as it had been assumed that Vulcans, indeed most other humanoid species, would be immune to it. Kastarak, being one of few doctors specialized in cross-species health care from a Vulcan point of view, was considered essential for the on-site epidemiologist. Kastarak had been surprised by it, as he was, by Vulcan standards, extremely young with a limited practical experience. But with such view Vulcan-trained physicians in the quadrant now, the epidemiologist had assured him, any knowledge of Vulcan physiology and how it may respond to alien infections would be useful.

Fortunately, the viral outbreak was not as bad as initially thought. It appeared that while it spread quicker among Vulcans than Andorians (probably due to Andorians building up immunity naturally), only a few of the Vulcans experienced serious symptoms. It was fascinating, Kastarak had thought, and he promised himself to follow this up longitudinally. Perhaps, there were correlations to be made by what type of Vulcans experienced serious symptoms and other factors, such as genetics, and so on.

In any case, the mission was declared successful, and Kastarak was sent back to the Chernov. He had been told to go directly to T’Aria to report, as the captain was on the planet below.

After being transported onboard the Chernov, Kastarak felt momentarily confused. A feeling, sure, but a momentary one. What was the way now again to T’Aria’s office? He checked a screen. Ah yes, of course, that’s the way.

At peace again, he walked the familiar corridors, and found T’Aria’s office. He chimed the door and was given permission to enter.

A harsh, metallic shriek revealed the conference room T’Aria MacGyvered into an “office”. PaDDs adorned the ashen tabletop, congregated in stacks by department and purpose. Beside them, a chilled and half-consumed mug of Vulcan Spice Tea sent muted redspice and cinnamon wafting through the air. If Kastarak peered closer, he might notice the hand-painted clay coaster it sat atop and the wooden spoon discarded at its side.

Situated amid the organised chaos sat a tranquil, honey-haired Vulcan. Deft fingers scrolled through the report before her, pale eyes picking out on the most vital information. She knew from her CMO days that sifting through needless technobabble accomplished little more than mild irritation. Alas, Kastarak’s approaching footsteps dissuaded T’Aria from her work and guided her to her feet.

“Commander, Ensign Kastarak reporting back for duty.”

– Ensign Kastarak (Med Officer).

“Welcome back, Doctor. Please,” she released a scarred hand to the empty chair, “have a seat and do tell about your experience aboard the—“

— T’Aria, XO

Before T’Aria had a chance to finish her sentence, Kastarak had interrupted her. “The Tasmeen”. Immediately after doing so, Kastarak regretted it. He should have let the XO finish her sentence. By the way, he thought, was regret an emotion? Was his interruption a lack of patience, a lack of respect? Was it impulsivity? What would that say about his mental mood? He gauged his mind for a while. Ah yes, once again I had forgotten to meditate due to the transport trips here and differences in time between the ships… Or perhaps it had been the unexpected human fragrance of cinnamon mixed with Vulcan spices. An odd mix, indeed, though not an unpleasant one. He made a mental note to do some extra meditation tonight on this matter. And another note to try that mix himself, too.

T’Aria halted, wrinkles gathering at her temples, but made no mention of her surprise. Nervous? She mused and tugged the mug closer. Eager? Furrowing her eyebrows, she watched as twitches and folds directed fleeting expressions across his features. Kastarak seemed unsure and wholly engrossed in his thoughts. But, she doubted his near-imperceptible tumult could be chalked up to simple emotion. Unmeditated, she finally resolved.

After that half second of flurry of thoughts had subsided, Kastarak told T’Aria succinctly of what had passed on the Tasmeen.

T’Aria attentively digested Kastarak’s account of the Tasmeen. Fascinated but driven by duty, she quelled her thoughts and offered only affirming nods. Now was not the time to talk “shop”, though the idea tempted her however briefly.

“I now look forward to returning to my duties here, duties I hardly even had the opportunity to begin.” If he had been a human, he thought, this was when a smile would be present. Why am I talking like a human? He thought again. Surely humans don’t talk like this? He calmed his thoughts quickly again.

“Naturally,” she acquiesced. “What do you recall from the time prior to your departure?”

“Last I was here, we were just about to go to Outpost 4 planet-side. I had packed my medical gear and was ready to be beamed down. However, just before we were about to cross into the neutral zone, I was called up to you, informing me I was to take a shuttle to the Tasmeen. How has the mission progressed? What are my orders?”

Kastarak questioned himself again. Obviously the XO knew that they had met, why did he have a need to tell her these things again? It was irrelevant. Indeed, it all pointed to him needing some meditation. Hopefully, he would have time to meditate a while before getting on with his duties. However, the needs of the many, as the saying goes, outweigh the needs of the one.

– Ensign Kastarak (Medical Officer)

Adjusting her stance, T’Aria pursed her lips in thought. There was much to tell, most irrelevant to Kastarak. “Lt. Cmdr. Grey and his away team made contact with the Outpost, where they are to serve as a supportive force against who we assume to be the Romulans.” She began, “Doctor Symar and a small medical team accompanied them to set up and manage a triage unit. We’ve had minimal updates since.”

Ensign Kastarak hadn’t realized how serious the situation planet-side was. The ship had appeared calm, functional, and nothing distressful or indeed stressful was noticeable on the crew that he had so far met on his way to T’Aria’s office.

Moreover, that there appeared to be Romulans involved in the attack against the Outpost did cause Kastarak to focus more attentively than before. He immediately thought of what Nero’s people from the future had done, destroying his planet, the terror that had struck at his heart. It was certainly triggering – but he knew also that Nero’s ship had been destroyed, its’ people killed, and the only Romulans were the Romulans that were supposed to be in this timeline. No more future Romulans.

Kastarak took a slightly deeper breath than usual, being careful to both hide and control any emotions or memories that the word “Romulans” had caused him to experience. He really did need that meditation tonight.

“That said,” T’Aria lingered to allow Kastarak a moment to absorb her words, “Captain Taggart is preparing a team to the planet surface, where several downed adversary ships may offer insight into their technology and prowess. I anticipate their… investigation may encourage more conflict than it resolves.”

“Doctor Symar is aboard the Outpost; therefore, I need you to prepare Sickbay for an influx of possible casualties. Coordinate with Doctor Dran and Nurse Sutalo,” she continued, “to organise triage, emergency teams, and whatever systems you deem essential.” T’Aria knew the weight of her request, but she doubted Kastarak was ill-equipped for the task. “We are in a precarious position, so we must prepare for the worst. Do you have any questions?”

Meditation and sleep had to wait. Now had come the hour that would test Kastarak. With some hope, casualties would, if any, be few, but he had to prepare for a triage situation. He had had experience in first response, especially with various species, even to him unknown ones. He would be able to handle this. He experienced a slight regret that he had not prioritized meditation prior to stepping onboard the Chernov, but that would be a lesson for the future.

“None, commander. I have my orders.”

T’Aria had placed a great deal of trust in Kastarak – he was new on board the Chernov, he did not know the crew, he had hardly even met Dr Dran or Nurse Sutalo, yet here he had to run Sickbay in the absence of the chief medical officer.

He rose to attention, and awaited his dismissal – or the possibility that T’Aria wished to say something else. It had seemed as if she had more she would like to say, at least earlier in their conversation, and at this point he was unsure what her intention was.

– Ensign Kastarak (Medical Officer)

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